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Saturday March 15, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday March 15, 2014 MYT 10:21:16 AM
by chew wan ying
KUALA LUMPUR: Encouraging response at the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair March 2014 showed that the disappearance of the MH370 plane has not deterred people from travelling.
The number of visitors to the fair exceeded 10,000 within the first two hours which is remarkable, said its president Hamzah Rahmat, adding that in the past it only used to draw 5,000 to 6,000 people on the first day.
“That’s amazing despite the haze. At this rate, the number of visitors may exceed our target of 100,000 by the third day,” said Hamzah here yesterday.
Those interviewed at the fair are still keen to travel, with many expressing their confidence in Malaysia Airlines (MAS).
A woman who only wanted to be known as Yun, 60, said she and her husband were still flying on MAS.
“In fact, on April 3, I’m flying to Korea on the airline, followed by a trip to India in June,” she said.
Her husband Toh said they preferred to fly on MAS as it was the country’s national carrier.
Fadzil Kassim, who works in the manufacturing sector, said the disappearance of MH370 would not deter him or his family from travelling.
“There’s a certain risk involved in any form of transportation. After all, the airplane is still the safest mode of travel,” he said, describing the incident as an “unfortunate” event.
A magazine writer, Hui, 32, said the airline was still one of the safest carriers around.
“It’s not every day that something like this happens. So, no, it won’t stop me from travelling,” said Hui, who is planning to travel to Hong Kong and Macau.
Golden Deluxe Travel Service Agency executive director Raymond Lam said he had not observed any difference in the number of visitors who signed up for tours to China.
“It’s the same as last year. There’s been no cancellation from our existing customers,” he said.
Ila Holilah, the travel consultant at Travel agency Permai Rantau, said she was quite surprised that “the number (of people signing up for China packages) is still okay”.
Both Hamzah and MATTA Fair March 2014 chairman Judy Cheah had addressed the MH370 incident in their speeches at the launch of the fair at Putra World Trade Centre.
“For many of us, life goes on and it’s business as usual, but the spectre of tragedy that is MH370 looms over us and the impact of the incident will resonate with us for many years to come.
“MAS, our national carrier, we stand behind you in this difficult moment,” said Hamzah.
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